… is all that matters here!

Posts tagged ‘maroon’

Groovy purple hat

Me in purple hat with glasses!  I said in my last post that I’ve been asked to make a felt hat for a Christmas present. The lady wanted purples, maroons and a bit of black.

So here it is – You can see the silk hankies shining through – and the mottled colours blending together.

I’m very happy with how it turned out and want to make one for myself next!

In the next post I’ll diarise the actual process for anyone interested.

If you want to contact me about a commission or any of my felt scarves and other felty things, please contact me via www.aannshajones.com.au

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New network scarves

As Christmas is around the corner with only three markets before then, I’m making more treasures for my stall.

The latest two little beauties are network scarves – one in reds and oranges, the other in blues and turquoise.

Each have inlays of silk chiffon, silk hankies and silk tops all of which I hand dyed first.  The silk ensures a fabulous lustre to the scarves.  That, plus dimensional yarn snaking along the length of each one, gives each scarf a rich, interesting finish that is enhanced by the complimenting, striking colours.

Library Display

This is a quick post to show a couple of pics of a limited variety of my felting that is on display at Beerwah Library for two weeks.

If you aren’t in the area but would like to visit the library, the address is:

Beerwah Library, 25 Peachester Road, Beerwah Qld 4519. Phone for opening hours: 1300 542 727

It is lovely to have the opportunity to display my work locally.  I am a member of the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail and we have several weeks available to display members’ works.  Ilia Starkovsky is also displaying some of his photographic art, and Bronwyn Hill and/or Melanie Gray Augustin will also be bringing showing some of their work this fortnight.

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

Polymer and Felt jewellery

Spirals phone caseSince I discovered polymer clay to make a couple of buttons and beads for felting projects a while ago, it’s been calling to me quietly from my craft box.

I’ve been wanting to have another play with polymer clay and have been waiting for the right time and a touch of inspiration.

Like felting, polymer clay has got great potential in terms of colour mixing and versatility of design.

Last night after my friend left to go home to Brisbane, I took out my polymer clay in a selection of colours and a piece of maroon felt that I’ve been using lately to cover books with. I love the colours in that piece so much, I wanted to put it to more good use.

Taking three colours – red, purple and yellow, I blended the polymer clay in my hands, then rolled it out several times until I had a lovely marbelled effect.  I cut out a couple of different shapes, moulded one on a teapot lid to give a curve resembling an open shell, and rolled the other to create a semi-closed shell. To give definition to where I would place some felt on the open shell design, I cut out a thin strip which I stuck into a ring, making a little scroll that I stuck over the join.

Then I baked them.

I anticipated the end result with glee as I waited for the kitchen timer to ding so I could take the pieces out of the oven to cool.

Eventually they were cold enough to touch and I set about putting the pieces together, with some of the maroon hand made felt and a couple of freshwater pearls to give a focal point.

I realised at that point I need to be a tad more refined when I’m creating the initial shape, and if I want a smoother surface, I’m going to have to pay more attention to detail.  But you have to remember, this is only the second time I’ve made anything out of polymer clay, and while the finished products to a trained eye will most likely look fairly ‘rustic’, I regard this as a successful experiment.

To draw my critical eye from the slight imperfections on the surface, and not having any polymer gloss in my possession, I did what any self-respecting impatient artist would do and reached for a bottle of clear nail varnish.

Several coats later, I had a gloss finish to those babies that would give epoxy resin a run for its money.  The glossy surface really sets off the matt of the felt too.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my two pieces of polymer and felt jewellery.  It’s a definite outlet for more creativity, and a lovely way to mix media.

Here are some photos of the finished two necklaces.

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Open weave Thai scarf – great to felt!

Today I woke up bright and early, thanks to a reasonably early night.  The sun was shining and it was a perfect day to make some felt.

Wool and open weave scarf

Wool and open weave scarf

Taking the lavender open weave Thai scarf that I recently hand-dyed, I chose some matching and complimentary colours and got to work on the layout.

The scarf length was a tad shorter than I’d begin with, being 150cm, but I added some wool to make tassles and after playing around with the layout until I was happy, began felting.

I had to work it harder than when I felt onto silk chiffon or tissue silk.  I think because the cotton used for each part of the weave is tightly wound, and therefore harder for the little strands of wool to thread through them.

It’s not the first time I’ve worked on an open weave cotton, and I always like the finished result, despite wondering if it’s going to ‘stick’ together half way through lol.

Layout for cotton open weave scarf

Layout for cotton open weave scarf

There’s a picture of the finished scarf below showing both sides of the scarf and the tassles at each end.

You like?

Nuno scarf on open weave cotton scarf

Nuno scarf on open weave cotton scarf

My lounge is a mess, but I’ve made some great jewellery!

Lounge and studio

As you can see, my lounge has been transformed – no not trashed – into my crafting studio today.

I’ve had a great afternoon making more felt jewellery.  I really liked the turquoise wearable art set that I talked about yesterday, so I got all my bits and pieces out of the crafty kind and set about making some more wearable art sets.

I began with the green felt cuff and designed a necklace and set of earrings to match.  I’m new at making jewellery and am still taking my time to bend the wire carefully so the earrings match each other. This means the project is taking longer than I’d like, because I’ve got a craft market tomorrow and really want more pieces than I have left.  However, I was so pleased with how the green set turned out, I am glad I took my time.

Rushing something so I can see the finished result and start the next thing is a tendency of mine, but felting and creating generally is a great teacher of working methodically.  Especially if you’re making two of a kind like earrings, you can’t rush the job because you might well end up with two mis-matched earrings and that would be frustrating.

So, I was very patient and acted my age instead of my shoe size, taking my time and not forcing the birth of my new felt babies.

Here’s the green set, which I think goes very nicely with the green cuff/bracelet.

Green felt wearable art set

 

 

I then turned to the maroon cuff with a view to making a set with that.  The turquoise and green necklaces were made using pre-bought ribbon and thread pre-strung onto clasps.  I had to undo the clasps and thread the felt and beading onto them.  Easier said than done I’ll tell ya.  The felt roll was okay because it had a big central hole, as were the two large glass beads on either side.  But threading the smaller glass onto the green thread proved to be tricky.  Each time I tried to thread a tiny glass bead onto the thread, it frayed.

To fix this, I got some sticky tape and wound it round the end so some stuck out over the end, which I  cut into a point.  That pointy end acted like a needle and made it easier to thread the glass seed beads onto.

Then I just had to re-attached the clasp and hey presto!  One more necklace.

However, when it came to making the maroon necklace, I didn’t have a coloured ribbon/thread necklace as a base.  I used some tiger tail instead and threaded the whole thing on there.  However, I couldn’t leave the tiger tail exposed, so I threaded tiny glass seed beads all the way up to the clasp, which I added and fixed with crimps.

Considering this is a new creative avenue for me, I’m surprised at how easily I managed to put it together.  I’m hoping it’s not beginner’s luck.

Anyhow, here’s a pic of the finished maroon necklace.

Maroon felt necklace

When it came to making the maroon earrings, I wanted to try something a little different.  So I added a little dangly red bead at the bottom – a new technique which gave a cool finish – and I think looks lovely.  The addition of freshwater pearls to the necklace and earrings give a nice richness to them, and ties them in with the handmade button on the bracelet.

While the photos don’t really do the work justice, (it’s raining here and inside’s a bit dark) I think you can see them clearly enough.  Here are a few more photos, showing the maroon earrings and a few extra angles.

 

OMG I love making stuff!

In Search of Happiness II

In Search of Happiness II – second in watercolour series

Since I made a commitment to myself recently to get more creative, I’ve been making at least one little thing each day.

Often at night I would just zone out in front of the TV, too tired to do anything but not quite ready to go to bed to sleep to wake up and do the treadmill all over again.

However as I said, I recently decided not to compromise myself any more.  Instead of slogging my guts out trying to make more money so I can relax and get more creative I had a bit of a Eureka moment where I realised I was doing life cart-before-the-horseish.

So for the last few days (yeah it was a very recent aha moment), I have been focusing on creativity first and trusting the moolah will roll in along the way anyway.  Sure, I’m still doing my regular part-time job.  I’m not stupid and not about to unrealistically step way out of my comfort zone to become a starving artist.

Instead, I’m opting for a daily dose of creativity.  Arting for art’s sake.  Because really, that’s much more aligned with my core self.  I’ve done the responsible thing for years at the expense of my own inner happiness and sometimes health.  Not any more.  Opening my eyes a bit more widely as I come through my mid-life transition is showing me very clearly that my soul – my creative essence – will create or I will suffer the consequences.

As they say, you can’t follow two masters.

So I’m balancing my life differently.  I guess on the outside people who know me wouldn’t think I was doing anything differently except being more productive in the creative department.  But I know.  Deep down, I know that I’m valuing myself more.  I’m prioritising my values better.  I’m listening to my inner ‘master’ – the one who knows me best.  My core self.  I’ve ignored it’s heart-yearning for too long and now I’m just going to follow my passion.

“Do what you love and the money will follow”

I so get that saying now.   Certainly in the “do what you love” sense.

I was starting to feel deep down to my core that my life was becoming a tad on the meaningless side.  Too many shades of grey were seeping across my multi-coloured inner texture.  How long can a soul suspend their true identity before they lose themselves?  I guess it depends on the soul.

All I know is that I reached a turning point recently.  One of those make your mind up moments of the make or break kind.

I realised I wanted to spend another fifty plus years having a more fulfilled and fun life than in my first fifty odd years.  But I had to make some real changes.

And so I have.

Now I get to play each day.  I play with colour.  I play with texture.  I create for the fun of it.  And I share it with you, here.

Now I have three cuffs – Green, Maroon, Blue. Blue, green and maroon cuff bracelets

To make each, I cut 4cm strips from pieces of felt I had made previously. The felt pieces are all made of Australian merino wool with silk rovings.  Then I hand embroidered them with glass beads and finished with hand-made buttons.  I made the maroon one last night.

Two of the buttons are of mother-of-pearl with glass beads added as I sewed them on. The red button was made by gluing red glass beads and a freshwater pearl to a larger button. Button holes and edging are blanket stitched in embroider’s cotton.

Maroon cuff stripHere’s the other side of the maroon cuff showing a lovely cushioned patch of black wool that I made by twisting a thick piece of roving into a closed circle and adding before felting. The red heart-shaped bead was sewn on when dry.

Wall hanging on CoonowrinHere’s my wall hanging in my consultation room. This morning I decided that I’d rather see it hanging up than lying on a bench gathering dust, or in a box having its ‘dharma’ (or reason of being) wasted.  I found a nice straight stick in my garden that I think adds to the rustic feel of the painting and threaded it through the tabs on the backing fabric.

Then I hung it from a hook using green dimensional wool.

I took the photos at night, so the colours aren’t accurate; the lime green wall looks more like avocado in this pic!

 

Time to be creative!

After I did that, I re-organised my felt pieces and realise how little I’ve got left after last market.  I’ve certainly got a lot of creating to do before the next market.  What a good thing I’ve decided to create something each day!

Wall hanging in my consultation room

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